AMD now has 30% of the gaming CPU market according to the latest Steam Survey

Steam Hardware Survey May 2021
(Image credit: Valve)

AMD now lays claim to 30% of CPUs in gaming PCs according to the latest Steam Survey. This is the healthiest share it has enjoyed in a long, long time, but at the same time isn't exactly surprising news, beyond that it has taken so long to get to this state of play.

AMD's Zen 3 chips launched at the end of 2020, with the likes of the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 5 5600X both making a big impact on our best CPUs for gaming guide. Both of those chips were hit with supply problems though and basically sold out at the start of the year. The stock has started to come back in though, and the number of machines now rocking these chips appears to be on the rise. 

Unfortunately, the way the Steam Hardware Survey actually collates CPU data means it isn't the most useful information you'll ever see. Actually tracking models is almost impossible, as the survey stores the number of cores and operating frequencies as different entities. So you can see trends in the number of CPUs cores in machines, with the biggest uplift in 8-core chips, but getting much more than that from the survey is a big ask.

Things are a bit clearer when it comes to graphics cards though, where you can see which models people are actually buying. The biggest uptick here is for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 in laptops, with the rest of Nvidia's Ampere GPUs also making good inroads. 

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Intriguingly, the mobile GeForce GTX 1060 is suffering the biggest down-tick, which would indicate that there are plenty of gamers that are upgrading from the generation before last. This makes sense, given the performance increase on offer from Ampere compared to Pascal.

There are plenty of intriguing numbers in there, as there tends to be with any Steam Survey, but as ever don't read too much into it. It's more about the overall trends than specific numbers. 

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.